How to use facial serums and oils

So, your beauty cabinet is off the charts? On your quest for the healthiest and brightest skin, you’ve accumulated enough products to rival a pharmacy. But, as your stash continues to grow, so too does your confusion. Sound familiar? We’ve got you.

We asked an expert to demystify it all, specifically facial serums and oils. From the differences between them to where they fit into your skincare routine, Celeste Peh, Product & Innovation Manager at Me Today, has the lowdown.

Photo credit: Holly Burgess

Serums vs. Oils

If you find yourself unable to tell the difference between a face serum and oil, you’re not alone. Turns out they are quite different – everything from their consistency to the order you should apply them in. However, the similarity they do share? “They’re both targeted treatments”, according to Peh. But, that’s where it ends.

Serums are the most effective way to deliver a highly concentrated, potent dose of active ingredients to address a specific concern. From brightening and hydration to firmness and oil control, serums harness the power of powerhouse actives where they exert the most benefit. Unlike oil-based creams and lotions, which stay on the surface of the skin, serums penetrate deep into the dermis. “For this reason, serums should always be applied to your skin early in your regimen, after cleansing and toning but before your moisturiser and sunscreen,” explains Peh.

Oils, another mainstay in your skincare routine, are particularly effective because they mimic the skin’s natural oil production.  Oils that your face naturally produces are critical to maintaining the skin barrier and minimising water loss, which is essential for healthy, glowing skin. Using an oil in your routine will help keep the layers of your skin soft while locking in hydration. “Those prone to dryness and flakiness will especially benefit from facial oil.” Oils are suitable for most skin types though, including breakout-prone complexions.

Photo credit: Holly Burgess

The best of both worlds

While some skin types will benefit more from one than the other, better together is the name of the game, according to Peh. “The best results come when our skincare – as well as supplements – are used together.” In fact, layering different products can maximise your results. Me Today’s skincare has been specifically designed so you can do this. But, steady on – before you go layering on your suite of serums, Peh cautions that there are a few rules if you want to get the most out of your arsenal.

1. Consistency is key

“Apply your products in order of thinnest to thickest consistency,” advises Peh. Aside from SPF, oil should be the last step in your skincare routine.

2. Good things come to those who wait

The old adage ‘patience is a virtue’ is certainly true when it comes to skincare. To maximise the efficacy of each product, you do need to allow time for each product to fully absorb. The good news though: Me Today’s products are formulated for our modern, busy lifestyles to be fast-absorbing – in fact, only 10 seconds in between products, Peh advises.

3. Less is more

Due to its concentrated nature, you should only need one pump of serum and a couple of drops of oil for your whole face. If you have any excess, Peh recommends rubbing it into the neck. “It’s the most common area neglected but one of the first to show early signs of ageing.”

Photo credit: Holly Burgess

Picking the right oil and serum for you

With the new extension to Me Today’s skincare range – four vitamin serums and two botanical oils – there’s a perfectly suited product for every skin type.

Celeste Peh recommends starting with your skin concerns and goals. Remember, you can mix-and-match any of the below too.

Get up and glow with Glow C Serum

Featuring highly stable vitamin C (6%) and brightening botanicals strawberry and kiwi seed, it visibly brightens and nourishes skin for a lit-from-within glow.

Banish blemishes with Purify B3 Serum

Enriched with vitamin B3 niacinamide & Gigawhite™, a curated blend of 7 skin-purifying botanicals, Purify B3 Serum reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation and blemishes, while helping refine pores and skin texture.  

Hit pause on ageing with Renew A Serum

Containing both vitamin A (0.3%) and nature’s only retinol alternative, bakuchiol (2%), plus rosehip, it’s the ultimate anti-ageing serum. Renew A Serum strengthens the skin's natural barrier, targets fine lines, wrinkles and visible signs of ageing, for a renewed complexion.

Say bye to dry with Bounce B5 Serum

Enriched with vitamin B5 (2%), vegan hyaluronic acid (2%) and hydrating botanicals watermelon, aloe vera and cucumber, it deeply hydrates and plumps dry skin for a bouncy and dewy complexion.

Seeing red? Calm sensitive skin, reduce redness and nourish with the Miracle Facial Oil.

Nine botanical oils loaded with omega 3, 6 & 9, plus antioxidants and vitamins work together to moisturise and restore a healthy complexion. Peh recommends this oil to those looking for that one, “do-all” product.

Multi-task with the Botanical Organic Rosehip Oil, which contains certified organic cold-pressed rosehip oil, loaded with 90 percent omega 3, 6 & 9. Organic Rosehip Oil targets dry patches, sun damage, fine lines, wrinkles and even stretch marks.